Narrative:Hank Wharton was hired to transport a cargo of 3600 machine guns from the Netherlands to Port Harcourt. The arms were intended for Biafra, which wanted to become independent from Nigeria. Dutch officials denied the export license, so paperwork was changed to make it appear that the arms were going to be flown to Birmingham, U.K. Hank Wharton departed Rotterdam Airport but never arrived at Birmingham. Instead he flew to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The airplane was refueled and continued via Algeria to Fort Lamy (now N'djamena). Because of a lack of maps of the region, the Canadair did not make it to Port Harcourt. Over Cameroon fuel exhaustion forced the crew to carry out a forced landing. The DC-4 crashed on landing and broke in four pieces.
» Vliegende huursoldaten / Time Life, 1982
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Fort Lamy Airport to Port Harcourt Airport as the crow flies is 1183 km (740 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.